[ Note: Iraq could find itself between a rock and a hard place on this Kurdish referendum provocation. If it is not a real call for secession, then the goal of it may be as a show of political force to renegotiate keeping a bigger share of their oil revenues. But doing that would open up other areas to wanting to do the same.
The goal of the Kurds seems purely motivated by greed to me, which the Kirkuk situation supports, as even the Arab and Turkman segments are aboard supporting the referendum. What unites them is the potential of keeping all of their oil revenue.
By threatening Baghdad with secession during war time, the rest of the country will remember this, and could support the Baghdad government in a civil war, to put the matter to rest on the battlefield, a tragedy for both sides on top of the several they have already endured.
The other option would be to have Turkey, Iran, Syria and Baghdad refuse to allow Kurdish oil to be transported over their territory to cut off their funding, which would be cheaper than a war and not kill a bunch of people. So far, it seems the Kurds have little international support for their secession desires, which I can’t imagine they could just ignore.
And for the rest of us to have labored to prevent Syria from being Balkanized, we had not planned on it being OK for Iraq to endure Balkanization, too. Iraq needs stability to rebuild their country, and is still recovering from the last Gulf War.
Who could be quietly supporting the Kurds in this endeavor from the shadows? The Saudis, maybe? To a suspicious me, it seems unlikely they would be walking the plank by themselves… JD ]
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– First aired … September 07, 2017 –
The Iraqi Prime Minister denounces a planned independence referendum in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region as unconstitutional. Haider Al-Abadi added that Kurdish authorities in favor of independence are not considering the consequences of their actions. Abadi says this is tantamount to deceiving the electorate.
He also slammed plans for the separation of the oil rich city of Kirkuk from Iraq. Pro-independence Kurds are determined to hold the referendum on September 25 irrespective of all objections.
The decision has led to tension with the central government in Baghdad as well as with neighboring states. Critics also say the vote is untimely at a time when the region is fighting terrorists and may lead to further instability.